Order seeds indoors while winter wages outdoors and begin the dreams of springtime!
While winter rules outdoors begin your plans and dreams of spring indoors. January winter is more bearable as hours of daylight slowly become longer and spring gardening catalogs arrive in the mailbox.
When to Order Seeds
January is the perfect time to order seeds and begin your garden plan for the upcoming season. You will sow seeds outdoors after last frost, or earlier in a green house or indoors with extra lighting. With the large variety of catalogs appearing in the mailbox this month, which should you choose? If gardening is new to you, ask neighbors and friends for recommendations, especially if they are Master Gardeners. I have been ordering from catalogs for over 50 years, so personal experience plays a large part in my decision.
Factors to consider when ordering and reordering are:
- number of seeds per packet
- days to maturity
- Do shipments, especially plants, arrive on time and in good order?
Factors to consider when planning are:
- soil type
- sun areas
- shade areas
- heat & cold
- availability to water, and more.
For any questions in any of these areas, contact your local county extension office for a huge amount of advice and brochures.
I have submitted three orders for seeds already and shipments will arrive shortly. Here are a couple pointers for you in selection.
Let’s take carrots as an example. Some folks like the tried and true varieties such as nantes and danvers. Others prefer newer cultivars such as tender sweet. Packets of mixed colored carrots are also available, but my preference is long and slender cultivars. Since I have heavy clay soil in my ground garden, any kind of carrot is not a good choice. However, in the container gardens, where soil is far more controllable, a foot of loose and friable soil is easier to obtain and maintain. Not surprisingly, carrots do well in containers with enough depth.
It is easy to get caught up with the plant descriptions and pictures, and thus to over order. With some seeds, spinach, lettuce, radishes and kohlrabe, a second crop can be planted late in the summer for fall harvest.